I can hardly call this an actual review, but in this video I do share some of my thoughts on the new Sweet Tarts Tropical Punch Rope candy with Wonder Woman on the package!
I can hardly call this an actual review, but in this video I do share some of my thoughts on the new Sweet Tarts Tropical Punch Rope candy with Wonder Woman on the package!
People pursue different things. Off the top of my head, I can think of the pursuit of happiness, the American dream, a higher salary, you know all those things. I pursue promotional tie-ins. Yesterday on a drive down the Garden State Parkway, I was reflecting on this and thinking how basically my entire existence has been defined by this chase. It’s something that’s always been in me. Baseball ignites passion in a lot of guys, while others love hunting and fishing, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just not in me. Driving to Manhattan like a maniac at 10:00pm on a weeknight in a torrential rainstorm merely to nab a couple of cardboard Birds of Prey crowns at a select Burger King location that’s jazzed up to promote the film – now THAT is my shit. The level of motivation you have to have for that kind of thing is pretty intense. That fire lead me to do something I wouldn’t ordinarily do: BAKE! And that baking lead me to document it on my website, something that I rarely get motivated to do. So here it is, please marvel at my madness for minutia.
Looking back, Birds of Prey had a proper theatrical run before this current quarantine climate. While it wasn’t as lucrative as it should have been, it received a ton of positivity from fans and critics. I saw it twice in theaters and it was easily in my top 3 DC movies thus far. I’ve obviously got a huge soft spot for Harley Quinn, so there’s that, but it’s still a bombastic, colorful, and frenetically fun film and that can’t be denied. No complaints from me in that area, especially since it was released early to digital an VOD. I was ecstatic to be watching it at home way sooner that I thought I’d be. Although, there was one missing piece for me in the promotional machine for the movie.
A quite legendary bakery in New York City, Magnolia, renowned for their cupcakes, was quietly offering an officially endorsed Harley Quinn themed dessert. I found out about this news late as I watched Margot Robbie get presented with it on a late night talk show that I DVR’d and watched a few days too late. SON OF A B! By the time I called Magnolia to see if any of their locations were still offering this delight, I was outright denied. The promotion seemed to have lasted maybe 2 weeks or possibly even less than that.
Their specialty banana pudding recipe was altered ever so slightly and branded with the Birds of Prey logo. In honor of Joker’s ex-squeeze, they even renamed it PINK PUDDIN’! Once I heard the lady on the phone from Magnolia tell me “NO, we stopped serving that,” it was naturally my mission in life to right the wrong that has clearly occurred. How could I have missed out on this? ME…the guy with Harley Quinn on his website header! My mission in life since early February became even clearer and not even the world shutting down could stop me from accomplishing it.
To qualify me as a “baker” would be an absolute farce. Truthfully, I do know my way around a kitchen, although I rarely put those skills into practice. In this case, I called myself on the Batphone and I sprang into action. If you saw me during this blitz of baking, the control and chutzpah on display was pretty remarkable considering I used my stove maybe 5 times in 15 years. My plan was to recreate Magnolia’s specialty banana “Pink Pudding’.” Banana pudding + pink cake crumbles + other nonsense = heaven? I didn’t even bother researching a copycat recipe which is what I’ve done for certain meals in the past. I felt compelled to just guess and wing it and whip this up myself using only THE FORCE a.k.a my intuition. How hard could it be to make banana pudding?
WARNING: I try my best to eat as healthy as I can in any situation, but in this case I went with all the standard ingredients. Ordinarily, I would opt for the healthier options. It’s probably super easy to make a vegan version or just a version that health conscious people don’t mind eating. This right here is a sugar coma waiting to happen, so be warned!
WHAT YOU NEED: Milk, Eggs, Butter (or oil), bananas, cake mix, sprinkles, a couple of colors of icing, instant pudding, measuring cup, large mixing bowls, electric mixer, cake pan, paper dessert cups with lid.
I picked up banana cream instant pudding. It’s absurdly easy to make. To be honest, I haven’t made pudding since I was a kid with my mom in the kitchen. You throw the mix into a bowl with milk and whisk it for a few minutes and your pudding magically appears in the bowl. If all things in life were as easy as making pudding, we’d live in constant euphoria.
I’m 99% sure there’s actual bananas in this dessert and it was important to me that I had at least some semblance of fruit in this otherwise it would be literally 100% garbage for you. I bought some of those monster bananas you see in the produce section that were clearly injected with BANE venom. I sliced these babies up real nice and threw them directly into the pudding. Mixed it up, covered the bowl in plastic wrap and threw it in the fridge while I worked on the other stuff.
Bake a cake! First, pre-heat your oven to the temp. that the box tells you to and then move onto the cake mix. I bought the pink cake because PINK is in the title and the colors are important. The Harley “caution tape” costume in Birds of Prey is the inspiration here in my view, so the more vibrant the better. In this case, I started to add my own spin. If the cake mix you buy calls for oil, that’s fine, but if it calls for butter, make sure the butter is softened and not hard as a rock. That is a key so your cake isn’t lumpy. Nobody wants lumpy cake. In a mixing bowl, throw in some water, your cake mix, eggs, and butter (or oil). This is where you blend it all together until it’s smooth with an electric mixer. Some of you have fancy Kitchen-Aid contraptions, but an electric hand mixer is all you need.
Once your cake mix is all nice and blended, ensure your pan is greased and floured and then pour the pink goo evenly into the pan (I used a 13×9 pan.) I tried to make sure that the pink sludge (SLIME – it’s a river of slime!) covered all the real estate on the bottom of the pan. Get this baby into the oven. Follow the suggested time range on the back of the box. My cake cooked a little over 30 minutes which was slightly longer than directed. When you remove the cake, stick a knife or toothpick into the cake and when you take it out, if there’s batter lingering on it, it needs more time. If it comes out clean, remove the cake and place it somewhere to completely cool off (away from the hot oven.)
When the cake is fully cooled off (I left it overnight) you can begin the icing process. To replicate the vibrant, multicolored Harley costume with pinks and blues and yellows etc, I suggest picking up at least 3 colors of icing and fun sprinkles. Pink and yellow were my main colors, but I also used cream cheese icing since I read somewhere that Magnolia uses that in their banana pudding. Next, I separated the cake into 3 sections and iced them accordingly. If the cake crumbles at any point, it’s fine, you’re going to need it to do that anyway. When you are all good and iced, pretend you’re Tinkerbell and sprinkle the Pixie Dust all over the cake.
Take one of your paper dessert cups and begin to form your PINK PUDDIN’. This is not a science by any means, especially since I have absolutely no clue how this is actually made. To me, that’s what makes this great, each dessert cup is a work of art, it’s like Joker fixing the paintings in the Flugelheim Art Museum. Throw a little puddin’ in to start at the bottom, and then throw in a small piece of cake over in this corner, and on that corner make sure there’s some more pudding but ensure there’s an actual banana included, then take a small chunk from another section of the cake to get that multicolored appearance. While you are forming this, use a spoon to mash it together a little bit, all while attempting to keep the colors separated. Once you are reaching the top of the cup, use a spatula or any similar utensil to flatten off the excess and then close it up with the lid and into the fridge it goes until you are ready to enjoy it.
I went to the next level to try to make this as accurate as possible, even going to the extent of printing out the actual labels Magnolia used. I used a graphics program to isolate the sticker from a picture I found on Instagram. Then I had to order printer ink because I never use my printer. It was covered in dust! Printed those babies out and taped them right onto the top of the container. I have to say, this dessert was ridiculously delicious. I know a lot of people hate bananas and anything remotely banana-flavored, but this is a must try. The standout for me was the cake, once the cake sits in the container in the fridge it starts to absorb the flavors of the icing and the pudding and it’s just all so wonderful. It’s a very sweet and rich dessert and I have a feeling it was a pretty close stand-in for the real thing, even though I have no backing to say that. Even if it wasn’t close, getting shut out of a Birds of Prey promotional food tie-in motivated me enough to “do a thing.” I will always have this experience to carry with me now and I was able to share it with you. It’s amazing how getting told NO can make you do some absolutely WILD shit…like turning on your oven!
May the 4th Be With You! Jay and Sludgey are here to wish you a Happy Star Wars Day!
I usually don’t think it’s necessary to go into a whole explanation of what The Halloween Special is all about, so I will let it speak for itself. What I can tell you is that, as always, we had fun making this and I think it really shows. The work that I put into it on a personal front usually brings me to the brink of death, but in the end it’s all worth it. I get 3 or 4 hours of sleep for about a month straight due to late night editing and filming pick up shots and b-roll. Do I take this too seriously? Maybe, but it’s what I love. It’s not like I’m making the Shining, but it’s nice to have dreams.
I pushed really hard to make this one move quicker and have a run time that was roughly in line with a TV sitcom episode. I would love to talk about my inspirations but a few of them would be spoilery. One of them isn’t though and that’s the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s NOTHING like that and nowhere near that epic level, but I always aspire to those heights. This was more of a nostalgic type of fun party romp and I hope you have fun watching it. Happy Halloween and there is a quite a bit more to come this season between more videos from me AND also coming to you is more Purple Stuff Podcast with me and Dino Drac! Thanks to everyone who helped me make this Special happen. From the title intro to the music to the cast, it’s always a labor of love. If you haven’t yet seen what brought us to the party, go back and watch the previous 7 installments! They’re all there in a neat little playlist.
The hot, blazing summer has come for all of us. Just think, if we make it out alive we are one step closer to the Halloween season! At least that’s my incentive to persevere through these hellish, humid days. Even though it’s my least favorite season, I admit that theres so much to enjoy about it. If you can deal with swamp ass and drenching back sweat then you’ll have no problem appreciating the finer things that the summer has to offer. To encapsulate it all into one tiny nostalgic trip, The Purple Stuff Podcast is very excited to bring to you SUMMER SATURDAYS! We look at this as a way for you to savor the summer while sipping Shasta cans in the yard.
What is Summer Saturdays you ask? Essentially, me and Matt will be bringing you a new podcast every Saturday throughout July focusing on some of the highlights of summer for us. We’ll be presenting a variety of different themes during this extravaganza, but first, to kick things off, we have a music show for you compiling our summer playlists. You know us by now, we intentionally try to avoid the typical fare in favor of spotlighting the slightly more obscure stuff.
Whacked out is the best way to describe the variety on this episode. From songs heard in horror films to more songs heard in horror films to a member of the Mickey Mouse Club, to The Lost Boys on the beach, to fun with Phoebe Cates it’s just bananas. Check this one out if you’re chilling by your pool, doing yard work, *PAINTING THE FENCE, or just living that sloth life on your couch in the air conditioning. It’s a fun way to kick off your summer and we’ve got a lot more in store for you this month so stay tuned!
Thank you for listening to the show! If you would like to support The Purple Stuff Podcast we greatly appreciate your help! You can spread the word to friends IRL, leave us a positive review on iTunes, share us on social media, or join in the fun on our Patreon where we present a monthly bonus show exclusively for our “Patronies.” Thanks again and we hope your summer kicks ass.
*Can you name what movie this references? That’s another hint to a movie that gets brought up in this episode thanks to the awesome summer song!
Christmas Wonderland at Maple Leaf Farms, Route 9 South, Manalapan, NJ
Finding quirky and offbeat stuff to do for Halloween seems to be super easy for me. Christmas on the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much going on. It’s ironic to think about because Christmas is such a mega holiday in terms of spending and venturing out to holiday themed events with the fam. As you may have guessed, I’m not really one for the typical nonsense. For example, I ice skated once in my life and although I didn’t bust my ass, I felt like any second I could plummet into the darkest regions of hell. It was not fun. Sliding around in circles on ice, while balancing on a thin, sharp blade is not my idea of fun, especially in the cold. Going to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is always an annual “must” for locals, but I’ve been there, done that a million times. Nowadays it’s even more of a hassle because the vicinity around the tree is so crowded with tourists, and as crotchety as that makes me sound, it’s even worse than you could imagine. I get claustrophobic in crowds and it isn’t just there, Manhattan in general during the holidays that gets overwhelmingly packed with people. So not my jam.
I had way more fun lounging on the couch sipping Diet Cranberry Ginger Ale and watching The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix than I could ever have battling holiday traffic and crowds. Ugh, such nonsense! If I sound like Scrooge, then I can’t argue. Recently, an esteemed colleague at work affirmed this very sentiment for me. She told me that during the holidays she goes away to Florida to her summer home (must be nice!) and for the entire stretch of the season she relaxes with her husband and they literally don’t do a damn thing except snack and watch movies on the couch. She went even deeper to declare that is what the holidays are all about for her. Not to beat a dead horse, but I recently learned that my co-host on The Purple Stuff Podcast, Matt from Dino Drac, feels the exact same way.
While I always consider myself a champion of vegetating on the couch whenever possible, conversely I may be a bigger proponent of devising elaborately stacked plans of themed things to do. What can I say? Points of interest pique my interest and Clark Griswold has always been one of my idols. Maximizing the fun is one of my main objectives in life.
I didn’t want to piss this holiday season away without some actual merry making. After a lot of useless Googling, it felt like finding a unique, Christmassy thing to do in Jersey was becoming hopeless. But, right around the moment when I was about to give up, we drove passed Maple Leaf Farms on the way home one night. I noticed a sign that said “Christmas Wonderland,” as I swung an abrupt General Lee style turn into the parking lot. The building’s exterior is similar to any other run of the mill country store, except for being adorned with an over-sized, inflatable Santa Claus. The best part about this is that I had no idea what to expect inside. Would it be a bunch of crafts, wooden soldier centerpieces, and cinnamon sticks OR would we be delighted by a decked out display of endearing decor? That sentence was Heavy on the D.
Watch the video to see what I discovered inside the Christmas Wonderland. If you don’t have 5 minutes to spare, it was a sight to behold and totally lived up to its namesake! This traditional walk through, accompanied by a laid back Christmas playlist running throughout the space, is comprised of animatronics that the proprietor has rescued from old store window displays, malls, and various other means. He restored them superficially as well as their electronic components inside that made them seem magically alive in their heyday. It’s like he is a human droid factory. After speaking with him about his undying attention to detail and his commitment to the Christmas spirit, his goal was creating a vintage Christmas vibe and he succeeded, and then some.
My nostalgia needle was off the charts in this place. In a world of Nintendo Switch and Occulus Rift, these old school animatronic characters may not bowl a lot of you over since our technology expectations are so far beyond them, but these are the kind of novelties that I absolutely love to gaze at. My affection for them can be likened to why I love the old Telco Motionettes. Those were like the home versions of these little dudes! Inside the Wonderland, the snowmen move in slow motion, Goofy’s arm goes up and down, and there’s even a little tribute to the time Santa conquered those Martians! Snow covered Christmas trees are set up in every corner and adorning the pipe and draped halls leading to each next display were actual Christmas themed product ad posters from the old days bestowing that extra spoonful of authenticity. Just when you think it’s over, the finale leads you to a BIG room with the BIG jolly man himself. That’s right, pictures with Santa are included with your minimal entrance fee.
Experiencing this throwback to simpler times was a much needed little break from the world. Take the family on a little drive to Manalapan, NJ down route 9 for a dose of Christmas cheer before the season is out and see for yourself. There’s a TON of heart and LOADS of Christmas spirit poured into this and making it a success will ensure that it continues every year!
Pursuit of maintaining childlike wonder requires excitement, even for the simplest things. Submitted for your approval: ICE CREAM.
The newest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is a big one. It’s all about some of the most outstanding ice cream and frozen treats. You need not be an expert on every single offering in your grocer’s freezer or every single Good Humor variation displayed on the side of your neighborhood ice cream truck to enjoy this one. Once you start thinking about your favorite frozen treats from throughout your life, the floodgates open. This is what happened to Matt and I in this episode. There were so many great ones that we had to try to squeeze them all in!
There’s a brain freezing treat awaiting everyone who listens to this one. Maybe you dig Italian ices? Maybe you are a soft serve type of person? Or you may be a fan of one of the more obscure ice pops that was only sold in one section of the world in 1991? No matter what, it’s pretty safe to say that everyone has a special spot for some kind of frozen treat so this one celebrates that. Memories of hot summer days chasing down the ice cream truck will rush back into your mind. Remember when you would eat a colored ice cream pop and your mouth, lips, and tongue all turned that color? Fortunate for us, the summer is almost here so we are celebrating that feeling by digging deep into our memories and telling you all about a slew of our ultimate Ice Cream entries.
In this episode we will touch on everything from shark pops to alien cakes to great balls of ice cream. It’s a creamy and delicious audio compendium of our favorite frozen treats. Please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music or Podbean, OR you can check it out at the link above!
It’s that time of the year again! The weather starts cutting out the below zero temps and gives us that Spring feeling of being alive again. Although the Fall is by far my favorite season, Spring is second, but not because of blooming flowers…because of booming bodyslams! That’s right, its time to celebrate the WWE’s grandest event of the year, WrestleMania! Even if the last time you watched WWE was when Stone Cold Steve Austin was still the champ, you can still hop back on board at any time. Right now is the best time because WrestleMania is always a fun time. Hardcore fans dissect every event and suck the goodness out of everything, but this is one block of 4 hours each year that I dive completely into the pro-wrestling zone and enjoy it as if I were 5 years old again. It’s actually pretty refreshing, and maybe even more-so if you are not super into the WWE world. If you aren’t jaded to all of it you may even have more of a blast than many of us critical bastards! Regardless, here are 6 tips on maximizing your WrestleMania day:
2. Drink. Doesn’t have to be liquor. If you aren’t into that, get a lot of Root Beer or Mountain Dew on ice. You will need to have an excuse to run to the bathroom if a match starts to bore you out of your smoking skull. (that’s a Stone Cold reference if you didn’t catch it!)
3. Set up a comfortable viewing area, but not too comfortable! You want the pillows and blankets, but don’t accidentally promote a sleeping environment for you and your squad. This is a mistake. There’s plenty of time for that later on. If this is your first WWE event in a while, it will feel like it’s 17 hours.
4. Food! You can actually get winded just by living vicariously through watching these super athletes do what they do best so you will need nourishment. My advice is to balance out the crap with some good healthy stuff. Sounds boring, but you’ll thank me afterward! If you’re eating nothing but garbage all day and night, by the end of the event you’ll want to bust. You’ll feel like an alien is ripping out of your stomach. It’s worthwhile to cut up some fruits and veggies and drink water here and there. You have to pace yourself between all the Doritos and buffalo wings.
5. Treat the day like it’s a holiday. For me, WrestleMania has always been a holiday. To some, The Super Bowl is the big day, but for me this is monumental. Even if it winds up sucking, there’ so much excitement and enthusiasm on this day. The memories of Mania’s past come rushing back and you can enjoy them all day long if you have the WWE Network. With all great holidays, reminiscing is a major part of them and this is no different. You might wear an ugly sweater to a Christmas party, so be sure to wear your favorite Wrestler’s t-shirt or hat. I can’t forget this one, the music! We listen to Christmas carols during Christmas and spooky music during Halloween, so get your bluetooth speaker out and stream WWE music all day long, heck, all weekend long! And since you’re going to be up late and all pumped, think about taking the next day off. They won’t kill you.
6. LISTEN TO THE NEWEST EPISODE OF THE PURPLE STUFF PODCAST! The newest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is all about inconsequential aspects of all the WrestleManias so far. Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I have compiled 10 pieces of minutiae that we find interesting enough to talk about for an hour. Topics include, The Undertaker’s outrageous act, A whacked out Piper’s Pit, The Mistress of the Dark, and the greatest pro wrestling entrance of all time! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and the Google Play store! Thanks for tuning in.
Now, let’s take you down to our broadcasting team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura…
The Purple Stuff Podcast returns from beyond the grave! Matt from Dinosaur Dracula and I fielded your creepy questions on the show’s Twitter account @purplestuffpod and there was a resounding response! Thanks for sending them in! We had a slew of great Halloween/Horror-centric ones, but we were only able to answer a select batch of them. Hope you enjoy hearing our answers and we’d like to hear yours as well! Have a Happy Halloween and thanks for listening!
Shit is crazy, yo. That’s about the best I could come up with for an opening line.
During previous Halloween seasons, I’ve been able to ramp up the lead-up to my Halloween Specials. I loved posting a production journal on here for at least one or two of them, but it wasn’t in the cards this time. This year, even though free time is basically non-existent, I still magically whipped up a special, with the help of my friends of course! I ran into a bunch of speed bumps on the way.
A whole script basically went into the trash. I wrote this pretty epic script that, once it was too late, I realized would be entirely too much to film. Not so much about the length, but even the logistics, locations, and money. Although I love the script and it had absolutely everything in it, I came to terms with the fact that I just couldn’t pull it off so late in the game. I swore I would write the script early in the year that way it would give us extra time to film, storyboard, and even block everything out like actual filmmakers. Wrote it early I did. Threw it away late I did as well. To say I was pissed off at myself for wasting so much time and effort was an understatement. Continue reading THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2017